Signature Boston Blog
America’s Walking City or America’s Running City?

This summer, we had the pleasure of working with intern Jack Egizi, who will be a senior this year at Catholic University. Jack had the chance to learn an enormous amount about the meetings industry, as well as the city of Boston. This week he shares with us the significance of running in Boston, as well as some of the great running opportunities that await visitors to this historic city.

Boston is a city of running. Not only is Boston ranked as one of the fittest cities in the U.S. (According to the American Fitness Index), it’s also home to the headquarters of major athletic brands like Reebok, New Balance, Converse, and Saucony. So what makes Boston such a great city for runners?

It’s Size:
Despite the typical hustle and bustle of a city, with tons of activities to do and sights to see, Boston is very compact compared to other major U.S. cities. Many of the sights, destinations, venues, and popular neighborhoods are within walking distance from each other, giving us the nickname, America’s Walking City. However, while walking is all well and good, it’s not uncommon for Bostonians to decide to put the headphones in, lace up those often brightly colored sneakers, and run to or around all of these interesting, fun, and historic places. What better way to get to know a city than by blasting your favorite songs and working off some of those lobster rolls you have over indulged in the day before?

The Trails:
Along with its sidewalks and urban views, Boston doesn’t fail to provide its runners with a variety of routes, spanning many different lengths. Some popular routes include:

  • Castle Island/ Carson beach (my personal favorite): Here runners can enjoy the beachfront scene, looking at the water, boats, and occasional wind surfers, along with historic views of Fort Independence. This trail is off-road and known as a place for exercise, leaving behind the annoyance of traffic or other street pedestrians breaking your stride.
  • The Charles River Reservation: One of the most popular trails in Boston–it’s extremely common for runners to be seen trotting along this trail for all kinds of reasons: its optional long length (up to 18 miles); its beautiful view of the Charles River with the entertainment of watching the local college and high school rowers train; and the fact that it’s a great way to cross over the bridge and get from Boston to Cambridge (or vice versa) and change up the scenery a bit.
  • The Boston Common and Boston Public Gardens: Boston’s back yard! These neighboring patches of green are a great escape for runners from the crowded streets and sidewalks of the city. The common gives runners a park- like feel, allowing for some shade in under the trees and great people watching. The gardens allow runners to feel even more isolated from the city as they can smell the flowers and enjoy the calmness of being surrounded by nature as opposed to the regular hustle and bustle.

The Marathon:
Boston is home to one of the oldest and most historic marathons – the Boston Marathon. Over the years, these 26.2 miles have become more than just a race to us Bostonians, they have become a symbol of strength, triumph, and, most of all, unity. This race has forever been a time of embracing the running culture, which, in the recent years, has been representative of our toughness and ability to fight back, making us Boston Strong. However, running is not just common on Marathon Monday. In this town, there are 364 other days of the year that one can find the sidewalks and streets spackled with runners, whether they are residents or tourists, there truly is no better way to tour a new city or admire the one you know and love. And with the sights, size, various trails, and culture, “America’s Walking City” should earn the title “America’s Running City”.

In Boston, running is not only wicked cool, but encouraged! You’d be crazy not to participate! But if you don’t believe me, lace up and see for yourself.

Looking for more things to do in Boston? Check out our guide of What To Do for shopping, dining, arts & music, historic landmark, and sports & entertainment suggestions. To give ideas for areas of Boston to explore, check out our guide to all the neighborhoods of Boston.